Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood on Thursday announced that the government has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the British Council to hold special O Level exams from July 26 till August 6.
The minister took to Twitter and said, “We issued an NOC today to British Council allowing it to hold special O level exams from July 26 to August 6,” tweeted the minister along with the notification.”
The minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had created immense difficulties in all walks of life, especially in education.
“We have been taking difficult decisions to ensure that education/learning continues. Every decision has pros and cons but for us the interest/welfare of students is always paramount,” he said.
On April 26, A-level students across Pakistan sat for their first exam. The very next day, Mahmood tweeted there had been reports of poor SOP compliance outside examination centres. “Permission to hold exam was conditional on strict SOP observance,” he had said, announcing the decision to cancel the exams.
Ahead of the exams, the British Council announced SOPs for students, examination centres and the staff. This included social distancing, mandatory temperature checks, masks, use of gloves and hand sanitisers.
Students across Pakistan protested the decision to take exams. Some said their courses were not complete, while others raised concerns over the rising coronavirus cases. They approached the high courts in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore but their petitions were dismissed.